Friday, December 27, 2013


1 1/2 c. warm water 105-110 degrees
1 envelope dry yeast
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. flour, divided
1 lb. red onion, sliced thin
1 large red bell pepper
4 sweet Italian sausages, castings removed
12 oz. ricotta cheese, drained 1 hour
3 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
3 tsp. dried oregano
2 T. olive oil
Corn Meal for dusting
Option: 2 cloves crushed garlic in 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
Pour warm water into a large bowl and stir in yeast. Let stand about 5 minutes until
yeast dissolves. Mix in salt and oil. Add 3 3/4 cups flour (do 1/2 cup at a time),
stirring until blended. Transfer to a floured surface and knead dough (you may not
need all of the 1/2 cup reserved flour for this). You want it smooth and elastic, but not
sticky. Rub inside a large bowl with oil and place dough in the bowl. Flip the dough
over (oily side up) and cover with saran wrap in a draft free place for 1 hour, 15 min.
The dose has risen when 2 fingers indentations remain. Filling: Place a red pepper on
a baking sheet and set the oven to broil. Roast the pepper until all of the sides are black. Transfer to a bowl and cover with saran wrap for 10 minutes. The steam will help shed the skin. Peel, seed and slice into thin strips. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat olive oil, over medium high heat. Cook red onions until brown (25 minutes.) Remove onions to a bowl and cook sausage, breaking it into small bits, until done. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together the mozzarella, ricotta and oregano. Season to taste
with salt and pepper. Place oven racks in the top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of the oven.
Preheat to 400 degrees. Brush 2 cookie sheets with olive oil and dust with cornmeal.
Punch down the dough. Knead on a floured surface for 1 minute. Divide dough into 4
equal portions,shaping each into a ball. Roll each into a 9 inch round. I transfer it to
the bake sheet before assembly.) Spread 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture over half of
each round, leaving a 3/4 inch border. Place 1/4 of the onions, another 1/3 cup cheese
mixture, 1/4 of the sausage, 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture, and 1/4 of the peppers.
Fold dough over forming a half circle and seal edges firmly, so nothing leaks out.
Pierce top of calzone a few times with a sharp knife so steam can escape while
baking. Repeat with 3 other calzones, 2 per bake sheet. Bake 15 minutes, reverse
sheets and bake 15 more minutes, until golden brown. Makes 4 HUGE calzones.
Note: You can be creative with the fillings. I recommend making sure everything is
cooked going into the calzones. 4 calzones can easily feed 8 people. I'd also consider
adding garlic flavored melted butter to brush on as it comes out of the oven.
Note #2: I doubled the dough and the cheese filling. I made 4 circles of dough, wrapped them up and divided the cheese mixture by 4 and put it in baggies. Then a freezer bag. Now when my son wants a calzone in college, he just needs to buy a jar of roasted red peppers and fry up sausage/ onion. Stuff and bake.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Aunt Olive's Christmas Fudge (Page 85)

2 1/2 c. sugar                               
1/2 c. sour cream                           
1/4 c. whole milk                           
1 T. corn syrup                                
1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. unsalted butter
1 c. walnuts (or pecans)       
1/3 c. green candied cherries, chopped
1/3 c. red candied cherries, chopped

 Note: You use the cherries that you see out around the holidays, usually near the
produce area. I thought they would have a fancy name, but the container simply says
"red cherries", NOT maraschino cherry! Some people call these "candied cherries".

Line a 8 x 8 pan with quick release foil, leaving some overhang on the sides, for removal. Mix the first 5 ingredients and stir over medium heat until it boils. Stir no more. Cook until soft ball stage. Remove from heat and add vanilla, butter, nuts, and both cherries. Beat until no longer "glossy". Pour into pans. The fudge will whiten slightly as it cools.

This makes an adorable "Christmas" fudge.

Here it is after it has cooled. It is less translucent: